Luke Gordon Claims Maiden QS Win at Vans Surf Open Acapulco pres. by Corona

Courtesy of WSL North America

  • Gordon Takes Down Matheus Navarro In Stunning Fashion
  • Navarro Earns Third Final Appearance of 2019
  • Mel and Cleland Earn Semifinal Finishes 
  • More Available At
CAPTION: Luke Gordon (USA) celebrates his first-ever WSL chair-up the beach at the Vans Surf Open Acapulco pres by Corona.
CREDIT: © WSL / Nichols

PLAYA REVOLCADERO, Acapulco/Mexico (Sunday, July 14, 2019) – The World Surf League (WSL) men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Vans Surf Open Acapulco QS 1,000 presented by Corona crowned Luke Gordon (Pawley’s Island, S.C) its 2019 victor in four-to-five, occasional plus, foot swell at Playa Revolcadero. A hard-fought day of competition ensued among the remaining four competitors in Semifinal action before moving straight into the Final between Gordon and Brasilian Matheus Navarro. This marks the South Carolina native’s maiden QS victory and he was welcomed back to the beach with Mexican locals bombarding him with praise.

“I feel on top of the world, this is incredible,” Gordon said. “I feel like I should be in a commercial right now or driving a Lamborghini (laughs).  It was just my time I guess, and it feels really good to finally get a win after all these years. I’m super blessed to come out on top of that event with all the guys surfing really hard all weekend and I’ll remember this one for a long time.”

The 19-year-old overcame Santa Cruz, California’s, John Mel in the Semifinals and dashed his hopes of earning a win of his own that would’ve put him in the Vans US Open trials as current North America No. 1. But the day belonged to Gordon who then went blow-for-blow with one of of 2019’s standout talents Navarro in the Final. Gordon’s forehand power proved to be too much, garnering an 8.50 (out of a possible 10) to all but seal the victory.

Caption: Gordon’s searing forehand sealed up his first QS victory in impeccable form.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols

“Thirty-five-minute Final and I was just trying to get two good waves and started early and just put it together,” Gordon said. “I guess I was in tune with the ocean. Just watching Cam (Richards) do really well and Nolan (Rapoza) win in Chile, that was incredible, and every contest now I started realizing it’s possible. It can be done. I came here, I had to win this event and I did.”

Navarro’s in-form 2019 continues with a third Finals appearance, falling just 0.34 short of the required 8.57 to overtake Gordon in the final minutes. The Brasilian showcased his dominance upon returning to Acapulco for the first time since 2013 and nearly earned a flawless run toward the podium after taking down event threat, and the last remaining Mexican competitor, Alan Cleland. But, 750 valuable points that put him just over 4,000 total toward the rankings and securing a spot into the QS 10,000s once the cutoff occurs following the US Open.

“Very close, but I’m very happy and the wave was just amazing every day of the competition,” Navarro said. “I love this place. It’s my second time here in Mexico and now my focus is the QS 10,000s and 6,000s. Thank you God, thank you to my sponsors and thank you Brasil, my family, and girlfriend. It’s an amazing year and the best of my career so far.”

Caption: Cleland matched the best finish from a Mexican competitor at this event with a Semifinal finish.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols

A Semifinal result for Cleland and Mel earn them 560 points toward their respective campaigns.

While Mel didn’t get the win he needed for the US Open trials spot, he now sits at No. 103 in hopes of staying close to a Top 100 position for a possible seed into the QS 10,000s. But, the 19-year-old has plenty to build on at a young age and still remains a high seed into the QS 6,000s. A Semifinal result for Cleland and Mel earn them 560 points toward their respective campaigns.

Caption: Mel nearly pulled off the dream he envisioned but will take this success moving forward.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols
For more information, please visit

Vans Surf Open Acapulco Final Results
1 – Luke Gordon (USA) 15.17            1,000 points 
2 – Matheus Navarro (BRA) 14.83        750 points 

Vans Surf Open Acapulco Semifinal Results
SF 1: Matheus Navarro (BRA) 14.67 def. Alan Cleland (MEX) 11.26
SF 2: Luke Gordon (USA) 10.77 def. John Mel (USA) 9.84
About the WSL  The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe. The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours. Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport. For more information, please visit

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